Civic duties

Offered an opportunity to flee the death sentence for “corrupting the youth,” Socrates chose to stay imprisoned and accept his fate. His reasoning amounted to this: He had a civic duty to live under the law, to obey a lawfully-rendered decision.

This is, so far as I know, the earliest published discussion of the idea of civic duty, the idea that one owes something to the larger, wider community in which one lives.

I am thinking of civic duties a lot these days because of the vaccine resisters, that one-third of the country that refuses to accept a Covid vaccination; there are just enough of them to assure that Covid-19 continues to spread and remain dangerous.

There are probably some small number of people with medical conditions that might be exacerbated by the vaccine, but that number is surely very small. For the overwhelming majority of us, the vaccine poses no danger whatever and offers the benefit of defending against a potentially fatal respiratory illness.

What’s not to like? Why refuse to do something clearly beneficial, when the failure to do it poses a personal danger and threatens my neighbors?

Honestly, it looks to me like no more than an eruption of juvenile cussedness, and I totally, unambiguously, 100% support those companies and public facilities that are demanding proof of vaccination as an entry ticket.

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